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Mock crash carries real message

Central Kitsap High School senior Ruthie Skilbeck (above) gets placed on a stretcher during the third annual drunken-driving mock crash demonstration while (below) senior Ryan Forney fails a field sobriety test. - Photo by Kassie Korich
Central Kitsap High School senior Ruthie Skilbeck (above) gets placed on a stretcher during the third annual drunken-driving mock crash demonstration while (below) senior Ryan Forney fails a field sobriety test.
— image credit: Photo by Kassie Korich

When Meghan Granito got out of bed on Tuesday morning, she had no idea she’d be zipped into a body bag before 11 a.m.

Granito, a Central Kitsap High School senior, played the role of the victim of a mock fatal crash that played out in front of some 400 high school students.

Under a dark gray sky and an unrelenting rainfall, every parents’ nightmare unfolded. A tape of a prom after-party blared over a set of speakers, sending out a chant of “Chug, chug, chug” throughout Huey Field at CKHS as the students in the rain-soaked bleachers looked on. In front of the speakers were blue tarps covering two cars.

The tape switched over to a frightening 911 phone call about a car accident. Then the tarps were pulled off to reveal two almost unrecognizable cars — one a later model brown hatchback, the other a silver station wagon.

The driver of the hatchback, senior Ryan Forney, stepped out of the car. His face was covered in stage blood. In a matter of seconds, it was pretty obvious he was the one being encouraged to “chug, chug, chug.”

While he stumbled around surveying the wreckage, senior Kaitlin Poppe bolted out of the car she was in and began screaming at her date, Josh Diamond, to “Wake up! Wake up!”

Then she confronted Forney.

“Were you drinking? Were you drinking? You’re such a loser!” she yelled, all the while wailing on his chest with closed fists.

Forney responded in the only way he could.

“I didn’t mean to,” Forney repeated.

Within minutes, emergency crews descended upon the “crash scene,” which actually was the third annual demonstration, sponsored by Kitsap County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The aftermath was brutal.

Two seniors — Diamond and Granito — were pronounced dead at the scene; senior Ruthie Skilbeck was put on a stretcher and loaded into a Air Lift Northwest helicopter; Poppe and fellow seniors Heather Diedman, Brian Rube and Alan Stabler were treated for injuries. Forney was arrested for drunk driving. In a real situation, Forney would

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